Brand New
Science Fiction


5.0
classic

Review

by ianblxdsoe USER (31 Reviews)
August 18th, 2017 | 1721 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: fighting our demons won't save us forever.

The concept of life and death is such a fickle topic. We can’t stay here forever, and it’s intriguing that some people can’t understand that. Imagine growing older, weaker, watching the same sunrises or sunsets, and having to deal with those things forever. Death needs to come for us eventually; it’s the only thing that will keep us all sane. The same concept goes for Brand New. Not that they’re the same thing; clearly even as high-caliber of a band like Brand New is, they are no more than humans just like us. Coming off the heels of albums like Daisy and The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, which are so renowned and at times mysterious, there’s not much of a better way to release it than how they did. They knew Science Fiction was going to leak; that was their intention, it had to be. They couldn’t keep us waiting forever. After 3 of their 4 albums have started leaning closer and closer to becoming classics of not only the generation, but in music as a whole, they were running out of time to follow up an album like Daisy; let alone Deja Entendu or The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me.

The legacy of a band can be such a fickle thing on its own. Take a band like Oasis for example, people believed that after What’s The Story (Morning Glory), Oasis would go on to be the next Beatles, cementing their legacy, but after Oasis released albums like Be Here Now and Heathen Chemistry, the band slipped. They slipped hard. So the opportunity for a band like Brand New to have a similar slip-up is still more than possible, especially after teasing fans in the years between Daisy and Science Fiction with increasingly lackluster singles such as “I Am A Nightmare” and the Fight Off Your Demons demos. So for a band so renowned as Brand New, where would they go from here" Where could they go from here" After a while, the question became would they go anywhere at all" After years of mysterious decisions from delaying releases to announcing their demise after 2018, hope for new content started to dissipate like a burning rope.

But hope is such a fickle topic in the end. In a world where negativity and constant loss of hope wander among us to the point that as humans we barely realize how consistent that hopeless wandering is. The idea of a new album being released started to wander that same exact path. The thing is, we can never lose hope, it’s what keeps us human beings. Without hope, we would be nothing. The band dropped Science Fiction in such a way that at surface level it might just seem like creative marketing. I, on the other hand, feel as it was a way to prove a point. No matter how close to the bottom of the sea we get, there will always be something to pull us back up. This is what Science Fiction was to represent, hope. It was the bait to haul the fans out of the rut in the best damn way possible.

The way the album expresses this ideology is incomparable to anything else I’ve listened to before. I’m almost at a loss of words for what I can compare Science Fiction to. Of course, calling this the greatest piece of music would be a major overstatement, and a bit preemptive, yet the individuality and uniqueness it showcases is unparalleled by any other record I’ve personally heard in my life. The album pulls from previous influences, taking the fighting attitude of Daisy while withdrawing the loss of control and spiraling void of existence from The Devil and God into a melancholic, realistic aura found in Science Fiction. Musically, the record almost reminds me of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Much like the novel, the album showcases imagery of loss of innocence and burning the forest down with songs like “451” yet it pulls itself back together with songs like the closing opus “Batter Up”. The production provides vast soundscapes to perfectly encapsulate everything Brand New tries to convey with these pieces of music. The bluesy garage influences of the aforementioned “451” ascend to the skies and the fuzzy shoegaze-influenced guitars take over like a flash flood of color to contrast the dark, ambient feel that a lot of moments on the record have to offer. The lead in from “451” into closing swan-song “Batter Up” changes dynamics completely and proves Brand New can craft some of the most well structured transitions in today’s music, evidenced by the song “Batter Up”, which shifts into an epic post-rock influenced piece akin to The World Is A Beautiful Place to end off the record gracefully, giving not only the perfect end to an epic but the perfect end of an era.

Science Fiction also lyrically is more of an honest effort compared to its former counterparts. Long gone are the arrogant romantics of Deja Entendu or the exaggerated pessimism that The Devil and God occasionally showcased. Jesse Lacey seems to be at a war with these two sides of himself, describing his internal conflicts on songs like “Can’t Get It Out” where Lacey cries out ”I thought I was a creator // Now we’re just hanging around // Got my messiah impression // I think I got him nailed down.” Other lines such as ”I’m just a manic depressant // Toting around to my own crowd // I’ve got a positive messages // Sometimes i can’t get it out.” that give an outside-looking-in perspective to what’s going on with Lacey internally that on previous records be somewhat ambiguous unless you really analyzed the content and context of the lyrics beyond surface level. The lyrical ideologies that Lacey portrays on Science Fiction feel introspective and existential without feeling melodramatic whatsoever. His soft spoken introspective talks of not losing hope, and drowning in the grace fit the triumphant instrumentation melancholically yet realistically as well. With Science Fiction, Jesse Lacey finally took his time to stare in the mirror and write about what he saw, because that’s what we needed; it’s what he needed.

With Science Fiction, Brand New managed to squander all expectations thrown their way and then some, with some of the most well conceived ideas the band has ever had being on display, firing on all cylinders. The dynamics of the production and peaked instrumentation provide so many vast soundscapes that all flow so perfectly together, no other group of individuals could be able to pull it off the same way. The more-than-ever introspective lyrics from Lacey transcend that surface level immediately and jump into his book of thoughts so well, articulated with infinitely more maturity than some of the melodramatic content found on previous efforts. Science Fiction displays that quality only comes with time while playing as a rallying cry for the end of an era in the most ravishing way possible, as the flags come down from its hinges ever so gracefully.



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user ratings (1162)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
August 17th 2017


889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pos'd keep up the good work vro



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SandwichBubble
August 17th 2017


4840 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

jesus that was quick

also look at that beautiful ratings distribution

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theBoneyKing
August 17th 2017


12965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Inb4 the 5s

Digging: Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

ianblxdsoe
August 17th 2017


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks to conmaniac, bloon, and claire for proofreading. i know this is gonna get bombed with negs and comments about how this is "too early" but i listened about 7 times now and i'm fairly confident with my opinion as my love has only grown stronger. i know this'll get overshadowed by whichever staff/contrib decides to review this but i wanted to get how i feel about this out of the way. constructive criticism/love is always appreciated and as always thank you reading :-)

ianblxdsoe
August 17th 2017


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuckin hell shoulda had the comment ready to be copied and pasted knowing how much traffic it would get lol

Green Baron
August 17th 2017


24104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

too soon

rodrigo90
August 17th 2017


3339 Comments


Ok I think I should pay more attention to this band.

papudo
August 17th 2017


157 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i bet that avg rating will be an 4.2

Kusangii
August 17th 2017


1643 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That chart hahaha

rc239
August 17th 2017


186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Ok I think I should pay more attention to this band."



Joined 07-25-10



???

ianblxdsoe
August 17th 2017


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

rodrigo you're the fucking man

ianblxdsoe
August 17th 2017


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

also yeah the albums gonna stick at a 4.3 max imo

rodrigo90
August 17th 2017


3339 Comments


I became a full active member of this site last year.

Ovrot
August 17th 2017


13148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

More like brand new album to put me to sleep amiright

Digging: Verdun - The Eternal Drift's Canticles

MistaCrave
August 17th 2017


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

reminds me of something I'd write if I could find the motivation to write reviews these days. Great work man, pos'd.



Album is truly amazing. I didn't think it was possible for Brand New to release a new album that deserved anything more than a 3.5. Not only did they do a phenomenal job of reinventing their sound--the record is still brimming with that inexplicable BN vibe, though--but they also managed to craft a record which competes with TDAG as the best entry in their discography.

rc239
August 17th 2017


186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh true, well they're rad and this album is rad s(^.~)b

zaruyache
August 17th 2017


17943 Comments


obligatory dude this came out five minutes ago cmon comment

Dctarga
August 17th 2017


1144 Comments


Only fault I say would be that it seems like you use the word "fickle" too much. But that's just nitpicking

Joeman82
August 17th 2017


924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Although I don't think it's s 5 you articulated yourself well. Keep up the good work. Pos.

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VaxXi
August 17th 2017


4135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel as though the review as a whole could be trimmed down, especially as your lingering thoughts have some questionable claims attached to them (like the brief mentioning of Fight Off Your Demonsbeing irrelevant, despite sonically being the most obvious comparison to this record) but your thesis as a whole is very well put together and alright, especially for an album of this caliber and the relatively small window of time it's been out.



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